‘His information is often so precise that many people believe he is the unofficial historian of the secret services. His books are peppered with deliberate clues to potential front-page stories’ (Sunday Times).

“The most detailed forensic analysis yet undertaken of the most notorious political document of our era. This is a painstaking, assiduous investigation that rivals Sherlock Holmes for mystery-solving, but entertains with elements of Clouseau.”

Daniel Hoffman, Former CIA Moscow Station Chief 

“The most detailed forensic analysis yet undertaken of the most notorious political document of our era. This is a painstaking, assiduous investigation that rivals Sherlock Holmes for mystery-solving, but entertains with elements of Clouseau.”

Daniel Hoffman, Former CIA Moscow Station Chief  

IT was inevitable that the Allies would invade France in the summer of 1944: the Nazis just had to figure out where and when. This job fell to the Abwehr and several other German intelligence services, and between them they put over 30,000 personnel to work studying British and American signals traffic, and achieved considerable success in intercepting and decrypting enemy messages. They also sent agents to England – but they weren’t to know that none of these agents would be successful. Anxious to mislead the Axis, the Allies’ security agencies sought to protect their D-Day secrets, but feared being overwhelmed by a sudden influx of spies routed through Spain and tasked to breach Operation OVERLORD. Until now, the Nazi intelligence community has been disparaged by historians as incompetent and corrupt, but newly released declassified documents suggest this wasn’t the case and that they had a highly sophisticated system that concentrated on the threat of an Allied invasion. Written by acclaimed espionage historian Nigel West, Codeword Overlord is a vital reassessment of Axis behaviour in one of the most dramatic episodes of the twentieth century.

Guy Liddell was the Director of MI5’s counter-espionage B Division, and from September 1939 to May 1945 he maintained a personal diary. Within its pages, details of virtually every important event that had any intelligence significance during the Second World War were recorded. These diaries have recently been declassified and published, being edited by Nigel West. It was during this editorial process that Mr West sought to investigate Guy Liddell’s activities beyond the end of the Second World War, resulting in the present volume. The diaries themselves reveal many disturbing secrets. Amongst these are the contents of a cache of German documents that the SS were supposed to burn, but which were buried instead. When these were recovered, the British authorities went to considerable lengths to keep their contents from being revealed, for they demonstrated the activities of the Duke of Windsor during the crucial period in 1940-41, when Britain stood alone, threatened with invasion. They showed that the Duke was willing to act as an intermediary between Britain and Germany and was ready to fly back from the Bahamas to intervene if required. It was implied that he was prepared to be restored to the throne if the situation required it. Guy Liddell continued to work for MI.5 after the war and it is this period that is the main focus of this present book, with further declassification of files from this period enabling Nigel West to expose the inner working of MI5 at the height of the Cold War. This study provides an intriguing insight into the day-to-day activities of a group of men and women dedicated to detecting and interdicting sabotage, subversion and espionage. Liddell rose to the position of Deputy Director of MI.5, and it was expected that he would become the next Director. But he worked with Kim Philby, employed Anthony Blunt as his personal assistant and socialised with Burgess and Maclean. His failure to spot these men as traitors led to his retirement from the Secret Services in 1953. Nevertheless, Guy Liddell he was probably the single most influential British intelligence officer of his era.

THE SECOND WORLD WAR saw the role of espionage, secret agents and spy services increase exponentially as the world was thrown into a truly global conflict on an unprecedented scale. At this time, very few people in government were fully aware of what MI5 and its brethren really did. But with Churchill at the country s helm, MI5 reluctantly decided to let the inquisitive prime minister in on the secret, providing him with a weekly report of the organisation s clandestine activities so highly classified that he was handed each report personally and copies were never allowed to be made, nor was he allowed to keep hold of them. However, the original documents have survived, buried deep in the archives, with many pages annotated by hand by W.S.C. himself. Here acclaimed intelligence expert Nigel West unravels the tales of previously unknown spy missions, revealing a fresh view of the worldwide intelligence scene of the Second World War, and exposing the Soviet mole who drafted Churchill s briefings. With foreword from Lord Evans of Weardale, former Director-General of MI5.

Tradecraft is the term applied to techniques used by intelligence personnel to assist them in conducting their operations and, like many other professions, the espionage business has developed its own rich lexicon.

In the real, sub rosa world of intelligence-gathering, each bit of jargon acts as a veil of secrecy over particular types of activity, and in this book acclaimed author Nigel West explains and give examples of the lingo in action. He draws on the first-hand experience of defectors to and from the Soviet Union; surveillance operators who kept terrorist suspects under observation in Northern Ireland; case officers who have put their lives at risk by pitching a target in a denied territory; the NOCs who lived under alias to spy abroad; and much more.

Turn these pages and be immersed in the real world of James Bond: assets, black operations, double agents, triple agents … it s all here.

The Cold War, with its air of mutual fear and distrust and the shadowy world of spies and secret agents, gave publishers the chance to produce countless stories of espionage, treachery and deception. What Nigel West has discovered is that the most egregious deceptions were in fact the stories themselves. In this remarkable investigation into the claims of many who portrayed themselves as key players in clandestine operations, the author has exposed a catalogue of misrepresentations and falsehoods. Did Greville Wynne really exfiltrate a GRU defector from Odessa? Was the frogman Buster Crabb abducted during a mission in Portsmouth Harbour? Did the KGB run a close-guarded training facility, as described by J. Bernard Hutton in School for Spies, which was modelled on a typical town in the American mid-west, so agents could be acclimatised to a non-Soviet environment? With the help of witnesses with first-hand experience, and recently declassified documents, Nigel West answers these and other fascinating questions from a time when secrecy and suspicion allowed the truth to be concealed.

As part of the infamous Double Cross operation, Jewish double agent Renato Levi proved to be one of the Allies’ most devastating weapons in World War Two.

In 1941, with the help of Ml6, Levi built an extensive spy-ring in North Africa and the Middle East. But, most remarkably, it was entirely fictitious. This network of imagined informants peddled dangerously false misinformation to Levis unwitting German handlers. His efforts would distort any enemy estimates of Allied battle plans for the remainder of the war.

His communications were infused with just enough truth to be palatable, and just enough imagination to make them irresistible. ln a vacuum of seemingly trustworthy sources, Levi’s enemies not only believed in the CHEESE network, as it was codenamed, but they came to depend upon it. And, by the war’s conclusion, he could boast of having helped the Allies thwart Rommel in North Africa, as well as diverting whole armies from the D-Day landing sites. He wielded great influence and, as a double agent, he was unrivalled.

Until now, Levi’s devilish deceptions and feats of derring-do have remained completely hidden. Using recently declassified files, Double Cross in Cairo uncovers the heroic exploits of one of the Second World War’s most closely guarded secrets.

In 1921, MI5 commissioned a comprehensive, top-secret review of the organisation’s operations during the First World War. Never intended for circulation outside of the government, all seven volumes of this fascinating and unique document remained locked away in MI5’s registry … until now. Recently declassified and published here for the first time, MI5 in the Great War is filled with detailed, and previously undisclosed, accounts centring on the Security Service’s activities during the conflict. The main narrative examines MI5’s various attempts to both manage and detect double agents; the detection and execution of enemy spies; its study of German pre-war espionage; and the Kaiser’s personal network of spies seeking to infiltrate British intelligence. Coinciding with the centenary of the start of the Great War, this historically significant document has been edited and brought up to date by bestselling writer and historian Nigel West, providing an extraordinary insight into the early years of MI5 and its first counterintelligence operations.

Recently declassified Intelligence archives from a government report written in 1922 and classified for 90 years, reveal that just before, and during, World War I, London became the focus of a large German espionage offensive. The authors were among the first to obtain access to these newly available documents.
Two organisations, one collecting military information for the Kaiser, the other reporting to the Admiralstab (the German Imperial Admiralty Staff), were dedicated to the creation and management of networks of spies infiltrated into Great Britain from neutral territory, usually the United States and the Netherlands. Dozens of agents, under a variety of ingenious and plausible covers, ranging from cigar salesmen to circus and music-hall performers, traveled to London.
Responsibility for the detection of these, and many other, enemy spies, was left to the country’s principal counter-espionage agency, MI5, which was based at several offices in the West End, and led by a remarkable army officer, Vernon Kell who, despite chronic asthma and poor health single-handedly created an organization that is the forerunner of today’s Security Service, the headquarters of which are such a landmark on the Thames Embankment, overlooking Lambeth Bridge.
Known as “the Great War,” the world’s first truly global conflict is remarkable in what might now be termed modern espionage. World War I was witness to plenty of “firsts.” Apart from the contribution made by aerial reconnaissance and the interception of wireless telegraphy, telephone and cable traffic, there was the scientific aspect, with new machines of war, such as the submarine, sea-mine, torpedo, airship, barbed wire, armored tank and mechanized cavalry in a military environment that included mustard gas, static trench warfare, the indiscriminate bombardment of civilian population centers and air-raids. Large-scale sabotage and propaganda, the manipulation of news and of radio broadcasts, and censorship, were all features of a new method of engaging in combat, and some ingenious techniques were developed to exploit the movement of motor and rail transport, and the transmission of wireless signals. The hitherto unknown disciplines of train-watching, bridge-watching, airborne reconnaissance and radio interception would become established as routine collection methods, and their impact on the conflict would prove to be profound. The Historical Dictionary of World War I Intelligence relates this history through a chronology, an introductory essay, an appendix, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has over 400 hundred cross-referenced entries on intelligence organizations, the spies, and the major cases and events of World War I. This book is an excellent access point for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about the world of intelligence in World War I.
Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) encompasses the various disciplines of wireless interception, cryptanalysis, communications intelligence, electronic intelligence, direction-finding, and traffic analysis. It has become the basis upon which all combat operations are undertaken. It is now widely recognized as an absolutely vital dimension to modern warfare and it has proved to be a vital component in the counter-intelligence war fought between the West and Soviet bloc intelligence agencies. The Historical Dictionary of Signals Intelligence covers the history of SIGINT through a chronology, an introductory essay, an appendix, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has over 300 cross-referenced entries on key personnel, SIGINT technology, intelligence operations, and agencies, as well as the tradecraft and jargon. This book is an excellent access point for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about Signals Intelligence.
Although China’s intelligence activities may not have been well documented, they can be traced back to the ancient writings of Sun Tzu, and espionage has been a characteristic of Chinese domestic politics and international relations ever since. The People’s Republic of China has long engaged in espionage, but relatively little is known about Chinese techniques, methodology, personnel, and organizations in comparison with what the West has learned about other more conventional intelligence agencies that conduct operations across the world. Whereas most intelligence services have suffered damaging defections, the number of Ministry of State Security professionals who have switched sides is relatively small, further limiting outside knowledge. The Historical Dictionary of Chinese Intelligence covers the history of Chinese Intelligence from 400 B.C. to modern times. This is done through a chronology, an introductory essay, an extensive bibliography, and an index. The dictionary section has over 400 cross-referenced entries on the agencies and agents, the operations and equipment, the tradecraft and jargon, and many of the countries involved. This book is an excellent access point for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about Chinese Intelligence.